Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 611,648 in 2017, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States; as of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.808 million, making it the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles northeast of Washington, D. C. making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area, the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2017 population of 9,764,315. Baltimore is the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic; the city's Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States. In addition, Baltimore was a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, heavy industry, restructuring of the rail industry, Baltimore has shifted to a service-oriented economy.
Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University are the city's top two employers. With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed a "city of neighborhoods." Famous residents have included writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, Ogden Nash, H. L. Mencken. During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Baltimore after the bombardment of Fort McHenry, his poem popularized as a song. Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country, is home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation, including Fell's Point, Federal Hill, Mount Vernon; these were added to the National Register between 1969–1971, soon after historic preservation legislation was passed. Nearly one third of the city's buildings are designated as historic in the National Register, more than any other U. S. city. The city has 33 local historic districts. Over 65,000 properties are designated as historic buildings and listed in the NRHP, more than any other U.
S. city. The historical records of the government of Baltimore are located at the Baltimore City Archives; the city is named after Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore of the Irish House of Lords and founding proprietor of the Province of Maryland. Baltimore Manor was the name of the estate in County Longford on which the Calvert family lived in Ireland. Baltimore is an anglicization of the Irish name Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "town of the big house." The Baltimore area had been inhabited by Native Americans since at least the 10th millennium BC, when Paleo-Indians first settled in the region. One Paleo-Indian site and several Archaic period and Woodland period archaeological sites have been identified in Baltimore, including four from the Late Woodland period. During the Late Woodland period, the archaeological culture, called the "Potomac Creek complex" resided in the area from Baltimore south to the Rappahannock River in present-day Virginia. In the early 1600s, the immediate Baltimore vicinity was sparsely populated, if at all, by Native Americans.
The Baltimore County area northward was used as hunting grounds by the Susquehannock living in the lower Susquehanna River valley. This Iroquoian-speaking people "controlled all of the upper tributaries of the Chesapeake" but "refrained from much contact with Powhatan in the Potomac region" and south into Virginia. Pressured by the Susquehannock, the Piscataway tribe, an Algonquian-speaking people, stayed well south of the Baltimore area and inhabited the north bank of the Potomac River in what are now Charles and southern Prince George's counties in the coastal areas south of the Fall Line. European colonization of Maryland began with the arrival of an English ship at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River on March 25, 1634. Europeans began to settle the area further north, beginning to populate the area of Baltimore County; the original county seat, known today as "Old Baltimore", was located on Bush River within the present-day Aberdeen Proving Ground. The colonists engaged in sporadic warfare with the Susquehanna, whose numbers dwindled from new infectious diseases, such as smallpox, endemic among the Europeans.
In 1661 David Jones claimed the area known today as Jonestown on the east bank of the Jones Falls stream. The colonial General Assembly of Maryland created the Port of Baltimore at old Whetstone Point in 1706 for the tobacco trade; the Town of Baltimore, on the west side of the Jones Falls, was founded and laid out on July 30, 1729. By 1752 the town had just 27 homes, including two taverns. Jonestown and Fells Point had been settled to the east; the three settlements, covering 60 acres, became a commercial hub, in 1768 were designated as the county seat. Being a colony, the Baltimore street names were laid out to demonstrate loyalty to the mother country. For example King George, King and Caroline streets. Baltimore grew swiftly in the 18th century, its plantations producing grain and tobacco for sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbean; the profit from sugar encouraged the cultivation of cane in the Caribbean and the importation of food by planters there. As noted, Baltimore was as the county seat, in 1768 a courthouse was built to serve both the city and county.
Its square was a center of community discussions. Baltimore established its public market system in 1763. Lexington Market, founded in 1782, i
The National Socialist German Workers' Party referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany, active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920; the Nazi Party emerged from the German nationalist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany. The party was created to draw workers away into völkisch nationalism. Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist rhetoric, although this was downplayed to gain the support of business leaders, in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes. Pseudo-scientific racist theories were central to Nazism, expressed in the idea of a "people's community"; the party aimed to unite "racially desirable" Germans as national comrades, while excluding those deemed either to be political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race.
The Nazis sought to strengthen the Germanic people, the "Aryan master race", through racial purity and eugenics, broad social welfare programs, a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state on behalf of the people. To protect the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and most other Slavs, along with the physically and mentally handicapped, they disenfranchised and segregated homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state set in motion the Final Solution–an industrial system of genocide which achieved the murder of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims, in what has become known as the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler, the party's leader since 1921, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. Hitler established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.
Following the defeat of the Third Reich at the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the party was "declared to be illegal" by the Allied powers, who carried out denazification in the years after the war. Nazi, the informal and derogatory term for a party member, abbreviates the party's name, was coined in analogy with Sozi, an abbreviation of Sozialdemokrat. Members of the party referred to themselves as Nationalsozialisten as Nazis; the term Parteigenosse was used among Nazis, with its corresponding feminine form Parteigenossin. The term was in use before the rise of the party as a colloquial and derogatory word for a backward peasant, an awkward and clumsy person, it derived from Ignaz, a shortened version of Ignatius, a common name in the Nazis' home region of Bavaria. Opponents seized on this, the long-existing Sozi, to attach a dismissive nickname to the National Socialists. In 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed power in the German government, the usage of "Nazi" diminished in Germany, although Austrian anti-Nazis continued to use the term, the use of "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi regime" was popularised by anti-Nazis and German exiles abroad.
Thereafter, the term spread into other languages and was brought back to Germany after World War II. In English, the term is not considered slang, has such derivatives as Nazism and denazification; the party grew out of smaller political groups with a nationalist orientation that formed in the last years of World War I. In 1918, a league called the Freier Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden was created in Bremen, Germany. On 7 March 1918, Anton Drexler, an avid German nationalist, formed a branch of this league in Munich. Drexler was a local locksmith, a member of the militarist Fatherland Party during World War I and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and the revolutionary upheavals that followed. Drexler followed the views of militant nationalists of the day, such as opposing the Treaty of Versailles, having antisemitic, anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views, as well as believing in the superiority of Germans whom they claimed to be part of the Aryan "master race".
However, he accused international capitalism of being a Jewish-dominated movement and denounced capitalists for war profiteering in World War I. Drexler saw the political violence and instability in Germany as the result of the Weimar Republic being out-of-touch with the masses the lower classes. Drexler emphasised the need for a synthesis of völkisch nationalism with a form of economic socialism, in order to create a popular nationalist-oriented workers' movement that could challenge the rise of Communism and internationalist politics; these were all well-known themes popular with various Weimar paramilitary groups such as the Freikorps. Drexler's movement received support from some influential figures. Supporter Dietrich Eckart, a well-to-do journalist, brought military figure Felix Graf von Bothmer, a prominent supporter of the concept of "national socialism", to address the movement. In 1918, Karl Harrer convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel; the members met perio
Guy Louis Debord was a French Marxist theorist, filmmaker, member of the Letterist International, founder of a Letterist faction, founding member of the Situationist International. He was briefly a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie. Guy Debord was born in Paris in 1931. Debord's father, was a pharmacist who died due to illness when Debord was young. Debord's mother, Paulette Rossi, sent Guy to live with his grandmother in her family villa in Italy. During World War II, the Rossis began to travel from town to town; as a result, Debord attended high school in Cannes, where he began his interest in film and vandalism. As a young man, Debord opposed the French war in Algeria and joined in demonstrations in Paris against it. Debord studied Law at the University of Paris, but left early and did not complete his university education. After ending his stint at the University of Paris, he began his career as a writer. Debord joined the Letterist International when he was 19; the Letterists were led dictatorially by Isidore Isou until a agreed upon schism ended Isou's authority.
This schism gave rise to several factions of Letterists, one of, decidedly led by Debord upon Gil Wolman's unequivocal recommendation. In the 1960s, Debord led the Situationist International group, which influenced the Paris Uprising of 1968, during which he took part in the occupation of the Sorbonne; some consider his book The Society of the Spectacle to be a catalyst for the uprising, although a more significant text was Mustapha Khayati's "On the Poverty of Student Life", published in November 1966. In 1957, the Letterist International, the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, the London Psychogeographical Association gathered in Cosio d'Arroscia, Italy, to found the Situationist International, with Debord having been the leading representative of the Letterist delegation. Made up of a number of well-known artists such as Asger Jorn and Pinot Gallizio, the early days of the SI were focused on the formulation of a critique of art, which would serve as a foundation for the group's future entrance into further political critiques.
The SI was known for a number of its interventions in the art world, which included one raid against an international art conference in Belgium during 1958 that included a large pamphlet drop and significant media coverage, all of which culminated in the arrest of various situationists and sympathizers associated with the scandal. In addition to this action, the SI endeavored to formulate industrial painting, or, painting prepared en masse with the intent of defaming the original value associated with the art of the period. In the course of these actions, Debord was involved in the planning and logistical work associated with preparing these interventions, as well as the work for Internationale Situationniste associated with theoretical defense of the Situationist International's actions. In the early 1960s Debord began to direct the SI toward an end of its artistic phase expelling members such as Jorn, Gallizio and Constant—the bulk of the "artistic" wing of the SI—by 1965. Having established the situationist critique of art as a social and political critique, one not to be carried out in traditional artistic activities, the SI began, due in part to Debord's contributions, to pursue a more concise theoretical critique of capitalist society along Marxist lines.
With Debord's 1967 work, The Society of the Spectacle, excerpts from the group's journal, Internationale Situationniste, the Situationists began to formulate their theory of the spectacle, which explained the nature of late capitalism's historical decay. In Debord's terms, situationists defined the spectacle as an assemblage of social relations transmitted via the imagery of class power, as a period of capitalist development wherein "all, once lived has moved into representation". With this theory and the SI would go on to play an influential role in the revolts of May 1968 in France, with many of the protesters drawing their slogans from Situationist tracts penned or influenced by Debord. In 1972, Debord disbanded the Situationist International after its original members, including Asger Jorn and Raoul Vaneigem, quit or were expelled. Debord focused on filmmaking with financial backing from the movie mogul and publisher, Gérard Lebovici, until Lebovici's mysterious death. Debord was suspected of Lebovici's murder.
Distraught by the accusations and his friend's death, Debord took his films and writings out of production until after his death. He had agreed to have his films released posthumously at the request of the American researcher, Thomas Y. Levin. Debord's two most recognized films are Society of the Spectacle and "In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni". After dissolving the Situationist International, Debord spent his time reading, writing, in relative isolation in a cottage at Champot with Alice Becker-Ho, his second wife, he continued to correspond on political and other issues, notably with Lebovici and the Italian situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti. He focused on reading material relating to war strategies, e.g. Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, he designed a war game with Alice Becker-Ho. Debord married twice, first to Michèle Bernstein and Alice Becker-Ho. Debord had affairs including Michèle Mochot-Bréhat. Bernstein wrote a vaguely fictional but detailed account of the open relationships Mochot and she had with Debord in her novel All The King's Horses.
Just before Debord's death, he film
Fugazi is an American punk rock band that formed in Washington, D. C. in 1987. The band consists of guitarists and vocalists Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty. Fugazi are noted for their unique sound, blending elements of dub/reggae with high energy rock and punk/hardcore-styled guitars, as well as for their business practices and contempt towards the music industry; the band, others from the punk and hardcore scene leading up to the early 1990s, were among the early adopters of what grew to be known as the DIY ethic. Fugazi have performed numerous worldwide tours, produced six studio albums, a film and a comprehensive live series, gaining the band critical acclaim and success around the world. Fugazi has been on an indefinite hiatus since 2003. After the hardcore punk group Minor Threat dissolved, Ian MacKaye was active with a few short-lived groups, most notably Embrace. MacKaye decided he wanted a project, "like The Stooges with reggae", but was wary about forming another band after Embrace's break up.
MacKaye recalled, "My interests were not to be in a band, but to be with people who wanted to play music with me."MacKaye recruited ex-Dag Nasty drummer Colin Sears and bass guitarist Joe Lally, the trio began practicing together in September 1986. After a few months of rehearsals, Sears was replaced by Brendan Canty. One day Canty's Rites of Spring bandmate Guy Picciotto dropped by during a practice session to see how his friend was getting along, but Picciotto was disappointed. After some uncertainty from Canty about what he wanted to do with his future, the trio regrouped and booked their first show at the Wilson Center in early September 1987; the group still needed a name, so MacKaye chose the word "fugazi" from Mark Baker's Nam, a compilation of stories of Vietnam War veterans, it there being a slang acronym for "Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In ". The band began inviting Picciotto to practices. Inspired by use of a foil in hip hop, Picciotto sang backup vocals. After his band Happy Go Licky broke up, he became more involved with Fugazi.
MacKaye asked Picciotto to become a full member, which he accepted. Fugazi embarked on its first tour in January 1988. In June 1988 the band recorded its debut EP Fugazi with producer Ted Niceley and producer/engineer Don Zientara, shortly afterwards embarked on an arduous tour of Europe. At the tour's conclusion in December, the band recorded songs for its intended debut album. However, the band was spent from touring and decided that the resulting sessions were unsatisfactory; the track list was released as Margin Walker the following year. Both EPs were combined into the 13 Songs release in late 1989. Upon the band's return from Europe, unsatisfied with singing, began playing guitar too. With Picciotto playing guitar full-time, Fugazi made the transition into jamming and writing new material as a band as opposed to performing songs composed by MacKaye. In addition to working on new material, songs they had been performing live were refined, such as "Merchandise" and "Turnover", for inclusion on their first official full-length studio album.
Released on April 19, 1990, through Dischord Records, Repeater did not reach the Billboard 200 charts or become a commercial success. However, the band spent most of 1990 and 1991 touring behind Repeater, performing a total of 250 concerts between March 1990 and June 1991 selling out 1,000-plus capacity venues throughout the world. By summer 1991, the album sold more than 300,000 copies, a large number for a label that relied on minimal promotion. While major labels began to court Fugazi, the band decided to stay with Dischord and refused the offers of those labels. Repeater went on to sell more than 1 million copies in the U. S. alone, more than 2 million worldwide. The album was critically well received and featured an alternative rock sound that pre-dated significant releases such as Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten, which would unexpectedly go on to break the genre into the mainstream. For Fugazi's second studio-album Steady Diet of Nothing, released in July 1991, the band once again asked Ted Niceley to produce.
Niceley had become a chef and had to reluctantly turn down the job, so the band members decided to produce the record themselves. After the success of Repeater and its subsequent world tour, Steady Diet was anticipated, six months prior to its release Dischord had pre-orders in excess of 160,000 for the album. Fugazi recorded its third album In on the Kill Taker in the fall of 1992 with Steve Albini in Chicago. With the breakthrough of alternative rock in the early 1990s, In on the Kill Taker. By the In on the Kill Taker tour, the group began to sell-out large auditoriums and arenas, as well as receive more lucrative major label offers. During the band's sold-out 3-night stint at New York City's Roseland Ballroom in September 1993, music mogul and Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegün met with the band backstage in an attempt to sign them. Ertegün offered the band "anything you want", their own subsidiary label and more than $10 million just to sign with Atlantic. Fugazi declined the offer.
The organizers of Lollapalooz
Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found.. Improvisation, in the performing arts is a spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation; the skills of improvisation can apply to many different faculties, across all artistic, physical, cognitive and non-academic disciplines. Improvisation exists outside the arts. Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials at hand. Improvised weapons are used by guerrillas and criminals. Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials at hand. Examples of such improvisation was the re-engineering of carbon dioxide scrubbers with the materials on hand during the Apollo 13 space mission, or the use of a knife in place of a screwdriver to turn a screw. Engineering improvisations may be needed because of emergencies, obsolescence of a product and the loss of manufacturer support, or just a lack of funding appropriate for a better solution.
Users of motor vehicles in parts of Africa develop improvised solutions where it is not feasible to obtain manufacturer-approved spare parts. The popular television program MacGyver used as its gimmick a hero who could solve any problem with jury rigged devices from everyday materials, a Swiss Army knife and some duct tape. Improvisation can be thought of as an "on the spot" or "off the cuff" spontaneous moment of sudden inventiveness that can just come to mind and spirit as an inspiration. Viola Spolin created theater games as a method of training improvisational acting, her son, Paul Sills popularized improvisational theater, or IMPROV, by using Spolin's techniques to train The Second City in Chicago, the first improvisational theater company in the US. However, for some gifted performers, no preparation or training is needed. Improvisation in any life or art form, can occur more if it is practiced as a way of encouraging creative behavior; that practice includes learning to use one's intuition, as well as learning a technical understanding of the necessary skills and concerns within the domain in which one is improvising.
This can be when an individual or group is acting, singing, playing musical instruments, creating artworks, problem solving, or reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or new ways to act. Improvisation was rarely used on dramatic television. A major exception was the situation comedy Mork & Mindy where star Robin Williams was allotted specific sections in each episode where he was allowed to perform freely; the skills of improvisation can apply to many different abilities or forms of communication and expression across all artistic, physical, cognitive and non-academic disciplines. For example, improvisation can make a significant contribution in music, cooking, presenting a speech, personal or romantic relationships, flower arranging, martial arts and much more. Techniques of improvisation are used in training for performing arts or entertainment.
To "extemporize" or "ad lib" is the same as improvising. Colloquial terms such as "let's play it by the ear", "take it as it comes", "make it up as we go along" are all used to describe "improvisation"; the simple act of speaking requires a good deal of improvisation because the mind is addressing its own thought and creating its unrehearsed delivery in words and gestures, forming unpredictable statements that feed back into the thought process, creating an enriched process, not unlike instantaneous composition. Where the improvisation is intended to solve a problem on a temporary basis, the "proper" solution being unavailable at the time, it may be known as a "stop-gap"; this applies to the field of engineering. Another improvisational, group problem-solving technique being used in organizations of all kinds is brainstorming, in which any and all ideas that a group member may have are permitted and encouraged to be expressed, regardless of actual practicality; as in all improvisation, the process of brainstorming opens up the minds of the people involved to new and useful ideas.
The colloquial term for this is "thinking outside the box." Musical improvisation is defined as the composition of music while singing or playing an instrument. In other words, the art of improvisation can be understood as composing music "on the fly". There have been previous experiments by Charles Limb, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, that show the brain activity during musical improvisation. Limb was able to show an increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, an area associated with an increase in self-expression. Further, there was decreased activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, an area associated with self-monitoring; this change in activity is thought to reduce the inhibitions that prevent individuals from taking risks and improvising. Improvisation can take place as a solo performance, or interdependently in ensemble with other players; when done well, it elicits gratifying emotional responses from the audience. One notable improvisational pianist is Franz Liszt.
The origins of Liszt's improvisation in an earlier tradition of playing variations on a theme were mastered and epitomized by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven. Notable improvisati
Greil Marcus is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a broader framework of culture and politics. Marcus was born Greil Gerstley, in San Francisco, the only son of Greil Gerstley and Eleanor Gerstley, née Hyman, his father, a naval officer, died in December 1944, in the Philippine typhoon that sank the USS Hull, on which he was serving as second-in-command. Admiral William Halsey had ordered the U. S. Third Fleet to sail into Typhoon Cobra "to see what they were made of," and, despite the crew's urging, Gerstley refused to disobey the order, arguing that there had never been a mutiny in the history of the U. S. Navy; the incident inspired the novel The Caine Mutiny. Eleanor Gerstley was three months pregnant, she married Gerald Marcus in 1948, her son was adopted and took his stepfather's surname. Greil Marcus has several half-siblings. Marcus earned an undergraduate degree in American studies from the University of California, where he undertook graduate studies in political science.
He cited as a major influence a Berkeley political science professor, Michael Rogin, of whom he said: "That course had more to do with putting me on the path I've followed since, for good or ill, than anything else."He has been a rock critic and columnist for Rolling Stone and other publications, including Creem, the Village Voice and Pitchfork. From 1983 to 1989, he was on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. Since 1966 he has been married to Jenny Marcus, his book Mystery Train is notable for placing rock and roll in the context of American cultural archetypes, from Moby-Dick to The Great Gatsby to Stagger Lee. Marcus's "recognition of the unities in the American imagination that exist" inspired countless rock journalists. On August 30, 2011, Time magazine published a list of its selection of the 100 best nonfiction books since 1923, when the magazine was first published. Writing for the New York Times, Dwight Garner said, "Mystery Train is among the few works of criticism that can move me to something close to tears.
It reverberated in my young mind like the E major chord that ends the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.”His next book, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, stretched his trademark riffing across a century of Western civilization. Positing punk rock as a transhistorical cultural phenomenon, Marcus examined philosophical connections between subjects as diverse as medieval heretics, the Situationists, the Sex Pistols. Marcus published Dead Elvis, a collection of writings about Elvis Presley, in 1991, Ranters and Crowd Pleasers, an examination of post-punk political pop, in 1993. Using bootleg recordings of Bob Dylan as a starting point, he dissected the American subconscious in Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes, published in 1997, he writes "Real Life Rock Top Ten" for The Believer. He teaches graduate courses in American Studies at the University of California and teaches a lecture class, "The Old Weird America: Music as Democratic Speech – From the Commonplace Song to Bob Dylan", at the New School.
During the fall of 2008, he held the Winton Chair in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, where he taught and lectured on the history of American pop culture. His book When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison was published in March 2010, it focuses on "Marcus's quest to understand Van Morrison's particular genius through the extraordinary and unclassifiable moments in his long career". The title is derived from Morrison's 1997 song "Rough God Goes Riding", he subsequently published Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968–2010 and The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years. The Los Angeles Review of Books in 2012 published a 20,000-word interview with Marcus about his life. A collection of his interviews, edited by Joe Bonomo, was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2012. Rock and Roll Will Stand, editor Double Feature: Movies & Politics, co-author with Michael Goodwin Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock'n' Roll Music Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island and contributor Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession In the Fascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977–1992 The Dustbin of History Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives The Manchurian Candidate: BFI Film Classics, 68 The Rose & the Briar: Death and Liberty in the American Ballad, co-editor with Sean Wilentz Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy in the American Voice A New Literary History of America, co-editor with Werner Sollors Best Music Writing 2009, 10th anniversary edition, guest editor with Daphne Carr Songs Left Out Of The Ballad of Sexual Dependency When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968–2010 The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob
John Zorn is an American composer, record producer and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, hardcore, surf, soundtrack and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions, which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers". Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s, performing with musicians across the sonic spectrum and developing experimental methods of composing new music. After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and received wide acclaim with the release of The Big Gundown, an album reworking the compositions of Ennio Morricone, he attracted further attention worldwide with the release of Spillane in 1987 and Naked City in 1990. After spending a decade travelling between Japan and the US, he made New York his permanent base and established his own record label, Tzadik, in the mid-1990s.
Tzadik enabled Zorn to maintain independence from the mainstream music industry and ensured the continued availability of his growing catalog of recordings, allowing him to prolifically record and release new material, issuing several new albums each year, as well as promoting the work of many other musicians. Zorn has led the hardcore bands Naked City and Painkiller, the Jewish music-inspired jazz quartet Masada, composed 613 pieces as part of the three Masada songbooks that have been performed by an array of groups, composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, produced music for opera, sound installations and documentary. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe and the Middle East performing at festivals with many other musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse output. John Zorn was born in New York City and learned piano and flute as a child, his family had diverse musical tastes: his mother, listened to classical and world music, his father, Henry Zorn, was interested in jazz, French chansons, country music, his older brother collected doo-wop, 1950s rock and roll records.
Zorn attended the United Nations International School from kindergarten to high school associating with school friends from many different cultures. He spent his teenage years exploring classical music, film music, and, "listening to The Doors and playing bass in a surf band." He acquired an interest in experimental and avant-garde music after buying a record by Mauricio Kagel in 1968 at the age of fifteen. He taught himself orchestration and counterpoint by transcribing scores and studied composition under Leonardo Balada. Zorn started playing the saxophone after discovering Anthony Braxton's album For Alto when he was studying composition at Webster College in St. Louis, where he attended classes taught by Oliver Lake. While still at Webster, he incorporated elements of free jazz, avant-garde and experimental music, film scores, performance art and the cartoon scores of Carl Stalling into his first recordings which were released as First Recordings 1973. Zorn dropped out of college and, following a stint on the West Coast, moved to Manhattan where he gave concerts in his apartment and other small NY venues, playing saxophone and a variety of reeds, duck calls and other instruments.
Zorn immersed himself in the underground art scene, assisting Jack Smith with his performances and attending plays by Richard Foreman. He founded a performance art project called the Theatre of Musical Optics in 1975 and became a major participant in the downtown music scene as a composer and producer of music that challenged the confines of any single musical genre. Zorn's early major compositions included several game pieces described as "complex systems harnessing improvisers in flexible compositional formats"; these compositions "involved strict rules, role playing, prompters with flashcards, all in the name of melding structure and improvisation in a seamless fashion". Zorn's game pieces were titled after sports, include Track & Field, Lacrosse, Curling, Hockey, Fencing and Archery, several of which were recorded and released on Eugene Chadbourne's Parachute label, becoming the first albums under Zorn's leadership, his most enduring game piece is Cobra, composed in 1984 and first released on album in 1987 and in subsequent versions in 1992, 1994 and 2002, revisited in performance many times.
In the early 1980s, Zorn was engaged in improvised performance which included "blowing duck calls in buckets of water at fringe venues" as both a solo performer and with other like-minded artists. Zorn's first solo saxophone recordings were released in two volumes as The Classic Guide to Strategy in 1983 and 1986 on the Lumina label. Zorn's early small group improvisations are documented on Locus Solus which featured Zorn with various combinations of other improvisers including Christian Marclay, Arto Lindsay, Wayne Horvitz, Ikue Mori, Anton Fier. Ganryu Island featured a series of duets by Zorn with Michihiro Sato on shamisen, which received limited release on the Yukon label in 1984. Zorn has subsequently released these recordings as CDs on Tzadik making them more available than the original vinyl pressings. Zorn's breakthrough recording was 1985's acclaimed The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone, where Zorn offered radical arrangements of music from Ennio Morri